Pilot Photo/ Courtesy St. Peter’s Parish
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SOUTH BOSTON -- More than 250 parishioners attended Mass at St. Peter’s Lithuanian Parish in South Boston Sept. 21 for the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Siluva. Bishop Robert F. Hennessey presided.
Father Stephen Zukas, the pastor of St. Peter Parish, had just returned from a pilgrimage to Siluva, Lithuania, that week. A number of those present had also traveled to Siluva. More than 20 teens wearing Lithuanian folk costumes participated in the opening procession, carrying a copy of the miraculous painting as well as a number of church banners, including a newly commissioned banner created for this event by local artist and parishioner Ina Nenortas.
St. Peter’s adult choir, under the direction of Daiva Navickas, and the Young at Heart Ensemble, under the direction of Rima Girnius, sang at Mass. Students from the confirmation class were lectors, brought up the offertory gifts and presented a re-enactment of the story of the apparition.
In his homily, Bishop Hennessey referred to the importance of maintaining a strong community and family life, especially ethnic traditions, because they help support faith life. Bishop Hennessey also spoke of the significance of having the Blessed Mother appear in Lithuania at a time of unrest and crisis.